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Holland Man Charged with WC Fraud

 Holland Man Charged with Defrauding VA, Workers' Comp:



A Holland man faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration and workers’ compensation system that he didn't deserve.


Richard L. Klaffka, 56, is charged with making false statements, mail fraud and wire fraud.


Beginning in 2008, Klaffka told the VA that an injury connected to his military service in 1978 had forced him to be confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk, drive or dress himself, according to a criminal complaint.


Klaffka had already been receiving benefits and was seeking a significant increase in those benefits, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. After his initial application was denied, it was granted on appeal and made retroactive, leading to a lump-sum payment.


But in one instance in 2013, officials alleged, Klaffka was seen driving to Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center and lifting a wheelchair from his vehicle. Klaffka then allegedly sat in the wheelchair, which his wife pushed to the hospital.


Klaffka was also observed playing horseshoes for hours at a time and riding a bicycle.

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